After two very tight and polished albums, the sprawling Tusk is much more experimental. Lindsey Buckingham was adamant that he didn’t want to make another Rumours, and the album’s sound is informed by the punk and new wave that was happening at the time, while the length (it was originally a double LP) only adds to the less polished feel. It was considered a disappointment at the time, but it’s since gained a cult following.
Nicks’ ‘Sara’ is arguably the best single that Fleetwood Mac ever released, although it is regrettable that it was the choice of song to be edited so that Tusk would fit on one CD. Nicks also contributes the mellow and meandering ‘Storms’ and ‘Beautiful Child’, while ‘Sisters of the Moon’ is Tusk‘s best rocker. Buckingham dominates Tusk, contributing nine out of the twenty songs; ‘That’s All For Everyone’ and ‘Walk A Thin Line’ are lovely pop songs reminiscent of The Beach Boys, while the title track utilises the U.S.C. Trojan Marching Band. I’m least impressed by McVie’s contributions; there are top-drawer pop songs like ‘Never Make me Cry’, but some of her material feels bland here.
While Tusk doesn’t have the mass appeal of Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, dedicated fans of Fleetwood Mac will enjoy it immensely.